League One
BoltonBolton Wanderers3PeterboroughPeterborough United0

Bolton Wanderers 3-0 Peterborough United

Bolton Wanderers
Bolton finished on 86 points following their 25th win of the League One campaign

Bolton sealed an immediate return to the Championship with a comfortable win over Peterborough at the Macron Stadium.

Midfielder Jem Karacan settled any nerves by volleying the hosts in front from Dorian Dervite's curling cross.

Tom Nichols had a goal-bound effort blocked by David Wheater as Posh pushed forward in search of a reply.

Wheater headed the second after the break and Adam le Fondre rifled home to confirm automatic promotion.

Phil Parkinson's side have enjoyed a consistent season in which they have not been lower than eighth in the table and in the top four continuously since 3 October.

Eidur Gudjohnsen on Twitter
Former Bolton player Eidur Gudjohnsen was happy to see his old club win promotion

They went into the game two points clear of rivals Fleetwood and with a superior goal difference.

And it was the hosts who were the first to threaten as Karacan shot wide after Peterborough failed to properly clear Josh Vela's ball in.

The midfielder made no mistake with the second opportunity that came his way, showing superb technique to give keeper Luke McGee no chance as he found the bottom corner.

McGee saved with his legs from Gary Madine to restrict Bolton to a single-goal lead at the interval, but Wheater headed in from two yards after Le Fondre nodded the ball back across goal following a corner.

The second appeared to sap Peterborough's belief and McGee was again in action to beat away a ferocious drive by Mark Beevers, who was part of the Millwall side beaten by Barnsley in last season's League One play-off final.

Urged on by the majority of a 22,590 crowd, Bolton opened up the Posh defence again and Vela cleverly beat two men before playing in Le Fondre, who fired past McGee into the top corner to spark the promotion celebrations.

Adam le Fondre
Adam le Fondre's goal was his sixth for Bolton since arriving on loan from Cardiff City

Bolton overcome off-pitch problems

Bolton were relegated to League One 12 months ago following a 4-1 defeat by Derby County after a difficult season on and off the pitch, with the paperwork on the club's takeover by Dean Holdsworth and Ken Anderson signed minutes before a High Court winding-up hearing in March 2016.

Despite the change in ownership, the Trotters have had to deal with further difficulties this term, including a public dispute between Holdsworth and Anderson.

Holdsworth eventually agreed the sale of his stake in March, which appeared to put the club back on a stable footing, but Bolton remained under a transfer embargo, imposed in December 2015 for failing to submit accounts, which meant they could not pay fees for new players.

And there were further reports last week of the club being served with a winding-up petition over a £5m debt, with a High Court date set for 22 May, although Bolton say it is a matter for Holdsworth's Sports Shield group.

Right man for the job

Bolton manager Phil Parkinson
Phil Parkinson's side had held second place behind Sheffield United since 13 March

Amid all the off-field issues, Bolton made a shrewd choice when Parkinson was lured from Bradford City to become their new manager last June.

The 49-year-old guided Colchester United to promotion from League One as runners-up in 2006, his first managerial job, and brought Bradford City up from League Two via the play-offs in 2013.

Victories in their first four games and a seven-match unbeaten run set the tone for the season and Parkinson has built the division's meanest defence, conceding only 36 goals in 46 games.

Bolton sold striker Zach Clough to Nottingham Forest in January and, perhaps unusually for a team challenging for promotion, did not have a prolific scorer, with goals this season shared among 19 different players.

However, two of the men Parkinson was able to bring in, Karacan and Le Fondre - one a former free agent on a short-term contract and one on loan - both found the net as Wanderers returned to the second tier along with champions Sheffield United.

Post-match reaction

Bolton boss Phil Parkinson told BBC Radio Manchester: "I'm absolutely delighted, and to do it in the manner we did with a very good, solid performance, I'm just so pleased.

"Last week we were a minute away from promotion and it knocked us a little bit, but we regrouped in training this week, and to play as well as we did when the pressure's on is a great tribute to all the players.

"For every footballer, when the big games come, you've got to perform, that's what it's all about, and the lads performed when it mattered most.

"There's been some tough times at the club over the last few years. Ken Anderson took on a tough job when he and Dean Holdsworth bought the club, because there were a lot of obstacles in the way. I'm just so proud for everyone connected to the club today."

Defender Mark Beevers: "Words can't describe how good it feels. From day one the lads have mucked in - we've had fixtures when we've had to dig deep and thankfully, most of them we've come out on top in.

"It's been a collective effort, the fans, the whole of the squad, the staff and we've been rewarded with promotion today.

"I've been promoted with Sheffield Wednesday before, but I didn't play that many games. With Bolton, I've played the majority of the season and it's massive for me and my family as well.

"It's been a while since Bolton had something to cheer about. It's not easy getting out League One, it takes a massive collective effort."



Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 33Howard
  • 31Wheater
  • 5Beevers
  • 4DerviteBooked at 20mins
  • 22Morais
  • 10KaracanSubstituted forPratleyat 64'minutes
  • 8Spearing
  • 20Taylor
  • 6Vela
  • 14MadineSubstituted forWilkinsonat 90'minutes
  • 45Le Fondre


  • 3Moxey
  • 12Long
  • 15Derik
  • 21Pratley
  • 24Henry
  • 35Wilkinson
  • 39Turner


Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1McGee
  • 4Bostwick
  • 6Baldwin
  • 3HughesBooked at 20minsSubstituted forTafazolliat 64'minutes
  • 18Da Silva LopesSubstituted forBorgat 73'minutes
  • 8Forrester
  • 23Chettle
  • 32Freestone
  • 11Maddison
  • 21NicholsSubstituted forEdwardsat 62'minutes
  • 13Mackail-Smith


  • 2Smith
  • 5Tafazolli
  • 7Edwards
  • 14Tyler
  • 16Inman
  • 37Morias
  • 38Borg
Scott Duncan

Match Stats

Home TeamBoltonAway TeamPeterborough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bolton Wanderers 3, Peterborough United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bolton Wanderers 3, Peterborough United 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Conor Wilkinson replaces Gary Madine.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Gary Madine (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Josh Vela (Bolton Wanderers).

  6. Post update

    Ryan Tafazolli (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adam Le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Gwion Edwards.

  9. Post update

    Foul by David Wheater (Bolton Wanderers).

  10. Post update

    (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  11. Post update

    Adam Le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Michael Bostwick (Peterborough United).

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Bolton Wanderers 3, Peterborough United 0. Adam Le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Josh Vela.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Filipe Morais (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Peterborough United. Andrea Borg replaces Leonardo Da Silva Lopes.

  16. Post update

    Hand ball by Craig Mackail-Smith (Peterborough United).

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Mark Beevers (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Leonardo Da Silva Lopes.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Ryan Tafazolli.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Darren Pratley replaces Jem Karacan.

As It Stood

1Sheff Utd4630106924745100
8Oxford Utd462091765521369
10Bristol Rovers461812166870-266
12MK Dons461613176058261
21Port Vale461213214570-2549
View full League One table

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